Getting Started

How do I get started? We are in our early 60's with arthritis as is so common for our age group. We have 10 acres, a few chickens, four horses, and some goats. Hubby lost his job and we have to live somehow. How do we get started living self reliantly with only $400 coming in each month? Where do we begin?

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A Challenge Ahead
by: Sue Merriam

Even if you owe no mortgage, it's going to be tough making it on $400 a month. I realize it will be a challenge in this hard economy, but one of you will have to find outside work, at least for a few years. Learning to live off the land is like any other business, it takes time and a lot of work, and you can't expect a decent income right away, so try to find work any way you can, at least for a few years until you qualify for social security.

Just don't count on that future social security check to provide for all your needs. Instead, start now to investigate how you can earn an income at home. There are many ways you can start your own business. Check with your local chapter of the Better Business Bureau for help.

In the meantime, there are things you can do now, to help ease the crunch of expenses. Learn to cook beans from scratch and switch to a diet of grains. These can be purchased very cheaply and are nutritious and filling.

Learn frugal cooking techniques to help cut down on costs. It will be far better for you than processed meals are anyway.

You can also build a cold frame pretty easily and grow lettuce and other greens, depending on where you live.

It's good that you have goats and chickens, as they will provide you with a fairly steady supply of eggs and milk. The goat milk can also be used to make cheese. You can find a recipe here.

All the best,

Sue

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